Friday, December 17, 2010

The Magic Dress

So, a long time ago when my kids were really young, I had a rather interesting view of fashion. I loved the brand Fresh Produce and Jamz. You know, I was trying to live some sort of beach lifestyle, even though I lived in the desert.

Though I still love my yoga pants, back then? Yoga pants were what I wore to parties or fancy dinners, just with a nicer top.

You know, something silk, box cut, enormous, with a (now) kinda embarrassing print on it.

Hey, there were no Stacie and Clinton back then. And on my own? Scary bad.

So anyhow, I had this dress I had ordered through a catalogue. A “swing” dress if you will, T-shirt cotton, with some extremely bold fish graphics. I felt so free and breezy in this dress. You know, like the model who is laughing, face to the camera, and she skips, her back leg bent up in the air with joy? That was me. In my mind.

I wore it when our friends Daisy and Dennis would come to dinner. I wore it to run errands around town, I took in on vacation. Flip flops, high heels, leggings. It was the go-to dress.

And it also had magical qualities.

Cuz one day I was hiring a babysitter for my oldest daughter, who was 1 year old at the time. So I put an ad in the local paper. And a young girl came for an interview. She was 17, graduating from High School. She was planning to attend the local Community College and study nursing.

There was something about this girl I truly loved. She was smart, you could see that right away. She was loving, but not over the top.

She also really needed a job and the money.

When I asked her about tidying up after herself and the baby, she told me her Mama ran a tight ship and she wouldn’t think of NOT picking up.

And she knew how to clean. Again, her Mama had rules and requirements.

I asked her to start . . . right that minute. So out to the swingset she went, with little toddling Blondie.

And while I watched them through the kitchen window, my hands in the pockets of my Magical Swing Dress, I felt peace. Not just the kind of peace you get when someone ELSE is entertaining your toddler, but peace like you just met “the one”.

Now did she turn out to be the “one”? Well. No. And yes.

Cuz a couple weeks later she informed me that she wasn’t really going to the Community College. She has a full scholarship to a prestigious women’s college back east. But she was afraid if she told me the truth, I wouldn’t hire her. And she was right.

But she became “the one” in so many different ways. She spent all her summers and breaks home with us. She and her family were there for us when Glowie was born, and needed major surgery. She went on vacations with us.

She was a passionate, beautiful, bright young woman and she loved my daughters and they loved her. Whatever I could “snag” of this sweet girl… well, we couldn’t get enough.

Sara has been in our lives for 10 years. We have watched her graduate college, get married, get a master’s degree, work on her PhD. And now she is pregnant.

And you know what a pregnant woman needs? A really comfortable swing dress. With bright colors. And Magic Powers.

Maybe some day she will find her own Sara. And then her life will never be the same. Thank Goodness.

But when she is interviewing? Have I got the outfit for her!

P.S. I love you Sara.

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